Achromata by Aesthesys is a difficult album to describe. It goes in so many directions musically that makes it hard to classify in a specific genre. Even their official genres of post-rock and progressive rock don’t quite do them justice. While Achromata takes some interesting directions along the way, what you’re left with is an immersive, powerful, and intense album with a lot to offer.
The album begins with a microtonal, almost sci-fi film soundtrack kind of feel. This soon changes into something resembling a Nordic feel with some haunting strings overlayed on the microtonal aspects. Aesthesys is largely experimental, and it definitely shows in the way they combine elements from different genres to create something that feels fresh and original. ‘Grauer Wald,’ the album’s opener, is the best example of this.
It doesn’t lack for the harder aspects either. Aesthesys technical proficiency in rock cuts through the experimental aspects, giving them a Nightwish meets System of a Down kind of feel. Achromata would be at home as the score to a film, or the soundtrack to a game like Final Fantasy.
There’s also a symmetry to the way Aesthesys makes music. ‘Grauer Wald’ both begins and ends with the same micro-tonal sound. ‘Himmelbarn’ includes numerous repeating strings, and the album’s final track echoes themes of all the previous songs on the album.
‘Filis Aureis,’ the album’s second track, has a more dream-like quality. Its Twin Peaks-like use of piano adds another layer to the already multifaceted album, before ending with some complex guitar riffs and heavy drum fills.
‘Marea’ continues this dream-like quality. The use of strings is so layered and breathtaking that it allows you to take it in and feel immersed in the music. Section 2:29 and onward is especially immersive and haunting.
‘Himmelbarn’ and ‘Melanocardia’ continue this trend, providing immersion and layers, while also being the two hardest tracks on the album. Aesthesys’ technical proficiency with riffs and drums shines through these two tracks, letting some of the experimental aspects go in favor of a heavier sound.
‘Eosfyllon,’ the album’s closer, is a soft farewell to the rest of the album, providing light pianos and only sparing drum sections.
Achromata is a wonderful album by Aesthesys, providing a mixture of progressive, ambient rock, and experimental rock in a package that has a lot to digest and will have you listening to over and over again hoping to find something new, and always leaving satisfied.